Archive for the 'Resources' Category

April 28, 2011

World of a Slave:  Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States

Edited by Martha B. Katz-Hyman and Kym S. Rice and published in 2011 by Greenwood, this two-volume work is located on the Second Floor of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library under call number E 441 .W895 2011.

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April 8, 2011


AUBURN, Ala. – For more than 30 years, W. David Lewis was a mainstay at Auburn University’s History Department, teaching Technology and Civilization to students and compiling an impressive list of published works on the history of aviation and the impact of technology. Now the research notes that Dr. Lewis used to create such respected works as his acclaimed biography “Eddie Rickenbacker: An American Hero in the Twentieth Century” have come to Auburn University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives department and will be made available for study by scholars from around the world.

 Many of the notes are expected to go well beyond what Lewis committed to the published page.

 “As I recall, Dr. Lewis told me that the first draft of his Rickenbacker biography was much longer than what eventually came out in print,” said Dwayne Cox, head of Auburn University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives department. “I imagine we’ll find a considerable amount of previously unpublished material among his notes and early chapter drafts on Rickenbacker.”

Lewis was instrumental in bringing many aviation-related collections to Auburn’s Special Collections and Archives, most recently the Rickenbacker papers, which included rare photographs from the aviation pioneer’s life that spanned from his early years as a race car driver and fighter ace in World War I, to his years at the helm of Eastern Air Lines. These photos are available on the Auburn University Libraries Digital Collection site at  The Association of Research Libraries featured Auburn University's aviation collection, including the Rickenbacker papers, in the volume that commemorated the ARL's 75th anniversary.

Dr. W. David Lewis joined Auburn University in 1971 as the Hudson Professor of History and Engineering, and was a leader in the field of studying technology and its impact on civilization. He taught at Auburn until the time of his death in 2007, ending his career at Auburn with the title of Distinguished University Professor.

(Contributed by W. Jayson Hill)

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April 8, 2011


AUBURN, AL – With many significant anniversaries in Alabama history fast approaching, documenting Alabama’s past has taken on a high priority in the state. The recent donation to Auburn University Libraries of a letter composed by early Alabama statesman and politician John Williams Walker (1783–1823) sheds light on a significant chapter in Alabama history as Walker lobbied for a western boundary with Mississippi that would keep the majority of the Tombigbee River within Alabama’s borders.

“This is truly a foundational document in the history of Alabama,” said Greg Schmidt, special collections librarian at Auburn University Libraries. “I can think of few things that are more significant to a state and its ultimate character than the lands and people that fall within its borders.”

The February 1, 1818 letter, approximately 800 words long and opening with the salutation “My dear friend,” is a plea from Walker for the recipient in Washington, D.C. to work hard to ensure the largest part of the Tombigbee, then known as the “Tombeckbe,” stayed within the Alabama Territory and not to allow it to become part of Mississippi. The letter was written by Walker from the Alabama Territory capital of St. Stephens as he served in the territorial legislature less than two months after Mississippi was admitted to the union in December of 1817.

Walker’s efforts were ultimately successful, and when the state of Alabama was admitted to the union on December 14, 1819, the western boundary of the state included the majority of the Tombigbee River system that would prove so important for development of the western part of the state.

Schmidt hopes that scholarly research on the letter will ultimately reveal whom Walker was addressing with his “My dear friend” salutation, which will better place the letter in the context of Alabama history. After writing this letter, Walker would go on to become the president of the Alabama constitutional convention and one of the state’s first two federal senators.

The letter was acquired from a reputable dealer and donated by a friend of Auburn University Libraries, and it is the only known pre-statehood letter from Walker held in a public archive within the state.

“We are very grateful for the donation of this significant piece of Alabama history,” said Bonnie MacEwan, dean of Auburn University Libraries. “This artifact of Alabama’s pre-statehood period will be treasured, preserved and treated with the respect befitting the importance of this document.’

Once processed into the library’s collection, the Walker letter will be put on display within the Ralph Brown Draughon Library Special Collections Department and a digital copy will be available for study by students and scholars all over the world through the library’s digital collection.

(Contributed by W. Jayson Hill)

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April 8, 2011

The database formerly known as Lexis Nexis Congressional has a new name:  ProQuest Congressional .

It brings together a vast amount of information published by and about the United States Congress.  ProQuest Congressional provides a seamless link to the full range of legislative and public policy resources, including:  Congressional documents and related resources as well as a number of publications such as the Congressional Record, Code of Federal Regulations, and more.  Includes indexing by CIS (Congressional Information Service) congressional indexes.  Please NOTE:  access is LIMITED to 3 simultaneous users.

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April 8, 2011

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Published by Wiley in 2011, this eight-volume set is located on the Fourth Floor of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library under call number T 57.6 .W636 2011.

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March 24, 2011

Ferguson's Career Guidance Center provides information on careers, college planning and financial aid, job hunting and workplace skills.  Please note:  Auburn University has access to this resource only until June 30, 2011.

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March 24, 2011

Edited by Donald A. Ritchie and published by Oxford University Press in 2011, this volume is located on the Second Floor of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library under call number DS 16.14 .O95 2011.

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March 24, 2011


 AUBURN, Ala. – In the days following the Feb. 16 announcement that the 130-year-old oaks of Toomer’s Corner had been poisoned and were unlikely to survive, the entire Auburn family engaged in a spontaneous outpouring of grief, well wishes for the health of the trees, and an affirmation that this senseless crime would not break the Auburn spirit.

In the wake of that outpouring of emotion, many personal articles, signs and other artifacts were left at the historic trees. As efforts began in earnest to do everything possible to save the trees that have been the site of so many Auburn celebrations, these artifacts were removed from the trees and gathered in a new collection established to preserve this trying chapter in Auburn University history.

Auburn University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Department has undertaken to preserve this new collection - some of which falls well outside the norm for the average archival artifact.

“I’m not sure anyone has ever tried to archivally preserve a roll of toilet paper with writing on it,” said Greg Schmidt, special collections librarian at Auburn University Libraries. “Toilet paper is meant to break down and is a very delicate medium for the written word. We have many such rolls collected from the Toomer’s Corner oaks, and ensuring they last in our archives is going to be a challenge.”

Artifacts gathered at the trees range from get-well wishes for the trees from small children to touching tributes from current and former students.

The public will have an opportunity to view many of these newest pieces of Auburn history at a special exhibit that will be housed in Ralph Brown Draughon Library during A-Day activities on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Details about the exhibition will be announced in early April.

Auburn University Libraries serves the more than 24,000 students and faculty of Auburn with a collection in excess of 3.2 million volumes. The Special Collections and Archives Department collects, preserves, and houses rare and unique items relating to the histories of Auburn University, the state of Alabama, the southeastern region, the Civil War, Native Americans and aviation. The Auburn University Digital Library develops accessible digital collections of materials that support the teaching and research of Auburn faculty and students, and that, in turn, further the mission of Auburn University.  These collections are made available to educators and students in the state, nation and the world.

Auburn University has provided instruction, research and outreach to benefit the state and nation for more than 150 years, and is among a distinctive group of universities designated as Land, Sea, and Space Grant institutions. Auburn University makes a nearly $5 billion economic contribution to the state each year, has more than 250,000 graduates and provides 130 degree programs to more than 24,000 graduate and undergraduate students.

(Contributed by W. Jayson Hill)

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March 10, 2011

Congressional Record

Now available in full-text electronic format, this is a digitized version of the bound edition of the Congressional Record (1873-1997) and its predecessor publications, the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), the Register of Debates of Congress (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873).  The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings, debates, and activities of Congress.  Although the Record contains a substantially verbatim account of the proceedings and debates, it also contains extensive inserted materials, communications from the president and executive agencies, memorials, and petitions.

The Congressional Record is available as part of the Auburn University Libraries' subscription to the Lexis Nexis Congressional database.

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March 10, 2011

ICPSR (Inter University Consortium for Political and Social Research) holds several datasets that can shed light on recent events in Egypt.  They include:  Youth, Emotional Energy, and Political Violence:  The Cases of Egypt and Saudi Arabia Survey, 2005 .  This dataset explores the values, opinions and sociopolitical and cultural attitudes of youth in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  Specific topics include religion, marriage, political systems, employment, freedom, and economic development.

Voice of the People, 2005 is an annual survey that was conducted in 67 countries, including Egypt, and it asked respondents about their countries' system of government, whether democracy is the best system, and additional topics such as income inequality and crime.

Other Egypt-related datasets address issues related to aging, crime, international aid, and other social and economic indicators.

These datasets are part of the ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) .  Auburn University students, faculty, and staff only may create an account that will allow access to the membership-only data.

Please contact Barbara Bishop at or (334) 844-1690 if you need more information concerning ICPSR .

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